The Nigerian British Council have engaged Civil Society Groups (CSO’s) across Lagos State in the delivery of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG’s), to deepen capacity and strengthen external relationships.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the council disclosed this at a one-day workshop engagement for CSO’s held on July 24 at Ikeja, Lagos.
Mrs Hafsat Mustapha, representing the British Council, told NAN on the sidelines that the Agents for Change-driven Transformation (ACT) programme was designed and funded by the European Union from June 2019 to April 2023.
According to Mustapha, the ACT will also seek to facilitate improved CSO’s regulatory frameworks and to get clarity of what exists and the gaps existing in the environment while considering the risks.
“This is our way of strengthening the system, capacity and relationships towards enhancing delivery of the SDG’s . We are generating discussions around CSO’s in the environment to have clarity of what exists.
“For ACT, we needed to have a clear understanding of how the environment operates, the framework to regulate their operations in the environment considering the risks.
“We are going to be doing this in six states drawn from the northwestern region and the southwestern region of Nigeria where there are strong and vibrant CSO who have created a semblance of legitimacy and credibility.
“Also, CSO’s that can work well with government,” she said.
Mustapha added that there had been positive input during the discussions that would help to deepen the strategies and engagements at different levels and phases.
Mr Adesgola Afariogun, Executive Director, Africa Foundation for Environment and Development, said the Focus Group Discussion (FGD) was to scope the needs of CSO’s.
Afariogun added that the outcome of the discussions would further help shaped what the project will focus on.
“We looked at the activities and vibrancy of the CSO’s present here for the discussions and the outcome of this will help the council to further shape the project.
“The CSO’s were drawn from those in gender, disability, development, media among other related CSO’s.
“We cannot say who will be engaged after the deliberations, but there is a possibility,” he said.
The participants at the workshop after the discussions suggested that the challenges faced by CSO’s would be addressed via capacity building, more coordinated CSO’s, governments understanding of the CSO’s and unified CSO’s.
NAN reports that ACT will be based on the partnerships arrangement with the CSO’s /networks that ACT will work with.